Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Anything that can fill that place in my heart where my love for comfort food lives, is an A+ in my book! Every year as the holiday season creeps in, my sweet tooth takes over and fall for those delicious treats that are floating around everywhere you look!

While I do think everything is good in moderation, I try to make healthy swaps as much as possible so I can maintain my well balanced nutrition AND have my cake and eat it too. 

I made some tweaks to a banana bread recipe that I found to perfect it even more...and I'm in LOVE! Best part is, it's made of mostly whole foods and is WAY low on carbs. So...can ya even call it bread then? 

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup carob chips
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted, natural nut butter

Recipe:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Prep 1-2 muffin tins by coating with non-stick spray.
  2. Toss the bananas, puree, eggs, nut butter 7 melted coconut oil into a blender and pulse until smooth.
  3. Add in all remaining ingredients BUT the carob chips! Blend.
  4. Fold in carob chips & save a bit to sprinkle on top of each muffin after you dish it into the tin.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way. I only used one muffin tin and poured the rest of the mixture into a small ramekin (and cooked that for an additional 5 minutes since it was larger.)
  6. Pop in the oven for 13-17 minutes (15 was perfect for my oven.) Insert a toothpick to see if its done - the toothpick should come out clean and not wet.

Store these in the fridge and reheat for a few seconds in the microwave for extra chocolately gooey loveliness! 

Enjoy!
 

Chunky Monkey Shakeology Mug Cake

FINALLY. I can have cake for dinner! You better believe ever since I uncovered this beauty of a gem I've totally been having mug cake...like...every night. #dontjudgeme

Here's the thing, cravings can be absolutely detrimental to one's health and fitness journey. {raises hand} They used to be my pitfall before I learned how to prevent and kill them. It's always those late night hankerings that can really do you over and I hear from a lot of my challengers that those late night munchies are one of their biggest downfalls. Been there, done that!

On that note: while I do think it's good to refrain from eating solids 2 hours before bed time to aid your metabolism, I now am rewriting the rules of acceptable dinners and desserts while on a diet. BEHOLD: Shakeology Mug Cake!

Here's the deal....YES a healthy mug cake exists. I will forewarn as my educational duties, however, that heating up shakeology over 115 degrees (and other raw food) can actually start to destroy its nutrients and enzymes. Shakeology is so much more than a protein shake and is made of pre and probiotics, along with other vitamins, superfoods and plant based elements. So...it may not be as nourishing as a fresh shake BUT it sure does kill those cravings!

Here's how you make this little cup of heaven....

Ingredients (makes 1 serving):

  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of brown sugar, stevia or honey
  • 1 egg (egg whites work too)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 banana diced or pulled into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted, unsweetened nut butter

Recipe:

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mug. I've found if you can find a mug with a narrow bottom, it will cook more evenly in the microwave.
  2. Incorporate wet ingredients: water, pb & egg. It should be a brownie like batter - add in a little water at a time until you get the desired consistency. Whisk well with a fork until there are no lumps left.
  3. Mush up the banana into smaller chunks, and swirl around into the batter until evenly distributed.
  4. Cook in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes. Start with LESS time and see how cooked it is...you can always pop it back in! My microwave is ancient and doesn't work so well, so sometimes I have to zap it 2-3 times in sections of 15 seconds until it's cooked on the bottom.

Top with some carob chips or more fruit and enjoy your little cup of heaven!

Tropical Chia Pudding

Sunshine isn't the only thing that makes me fall in love with summer time (especially as a Seattleite) but all of this heat magically makes me crave fresh & healthy foods! Fruit is in season and extra delicious this time of year and eat my fare share every day...I figure it's the safest way to curb that sweet tooth of mine. 

I'm always looking to create yummy, healthy alternatives to desserts or snacks using fruit and i've made this super simple recipe for chia pudding a few times now. If you're looking for a quick and easy clean alternative for a dessert, you've found your jam! What I love about this recipe is it's super versatile - you can swap out so many different fruits to turn this into a yummy treat. 

Here's what you need...

Ingredients (makes 2 servings) :

  • 1.5 cup diced fruit of choice (I made two kinds - first, I made one with all fresh mango with the fruit of one mango & the next, strawberries, 1/2 banana & a few frozen mango chunks)
  • 1 TBS lime juice
  • 1 cup Cashew Milk (I use unsweetened)
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Chia Seeds

Recipe:

Blend the fruit, milk, juice and vanilla in a blender on high until smooth. Add in the chia seeds and pulse until well incorporated. Pour into a dish and pop into the refrigerator for an hour or until completely set. The chia seeds need some time to activate and turn into jelly! Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Chocolate Shakeo Naughty Sauce

If you want to feel a little naughty and angelic all in one spoonful, you've come to the right place! Coming from a devoted chocoholic, when I created this chocolate sauce recipe it was a complete game changer for me.

Now I don't have to FIGHT my cravings all the time! I can actually satisfy them with a super quick & simple chocolate sauce recipe that goes quite well paired with fruit...or whatever else your imagination can come up with!

Chocolate lovers UNITE!

21 Day Fix approved! 1/4 RED, 1 PURPLE, 1/2 BLUE, 2TSP 

Ingredients: 

  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1tbs cashew milk (or almond milk, or even water!) 
  • 1/4 scoop chocolate shakeology

Recipe:

Combine oil, vanilla extract and milk in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until mostly melted. Add in the Shakeology and stir until smooth. This should have a sauce-like consistency so if it's too thick, add a bit more warm milk or water to thin it out.

Drizzle on top of your favorite fruit (I love it on a strawberry/banana/pineapple combo!) or use it for doing chocolate covered anything! If you want to do some chocolate covered strawberries, just dip the fruit, spray a tupperware lid with nonstick spray and pop into the freezer until it firms up.

Shakeology Superfood Ice Cream

You scream, we scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! I've been on a dessert recipe kick recently and rightfully so, because between this Shakeo ice cream and the pumpkin banana cookies from last week I definitely been able to fulfill my massive sweet tooth cravings. 

This recipe is incredibly easy to whip up in a craving pinch and you get your daily dose of dense nutrition at the same time...in ice cream ;) OK sign me up!

What the heck is Shakeology?? Shakeology is a dense, all-natural superfood shake that gives you the nutritional equivalence of 5 PLATES of salad! It's essentially a bunch of ground up superfoods, vitamins and minerals all packed into one meal. It's helps curb your appetite (naturally - with no icky fake fillers), increases your energy, improves digestion & helps you lose and maintain weight! It also helps you save money by replacing it with one meal per day...SCORE!!! Side note: feel free to shoot me an email if you're curious to learn more about Shakeology and if it's right for you! VanessaLChristopher@gmail.com

Recipe (makes one serving):

  • 1 large frozen banana
  • Up to 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or almond milk, but cashew is better! Silk makes a great one that's *new*!)
  • 1/2 scoop of chocolate shakeology
  • 1 tsp nut butter (I prefer almond)

Here's what you need to do... 

  1. Chop up the frozen banana (the smaller the easier it will be...but watch those fingers of yours, they can be slippery suckers!) 
  2. Put the chopped bananas in a food processor, pulse, and start adding a tablespoon of milk at a time in between pulses. The better your food processor, the easier this will be - I have a little "mini" one that isn't too powerful, so in order to get the bananas to a smoother consistency, I have to keep adding more and more milk. 
  3. Once your bananas have reached a thick and smooth texture, add in the nut butter & chocolate shakeology and continue to blend until well incorporated. 
  4. Stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes to solidify - if it needs more time to thicken up, stir around at the 15 minute mark and keep it in for a total of 30 minutes or so.
  5. Top with your favorite fruit (or rainbow sprinkles if you're feeling sassy!) and enjoy!

Guilt Free Pumpkin Banana Chip Cookies

Cookies for BREAKFAST? Don't worry, I said it was ok ;) I love that I don't have to feel guilty when I pop...ohhhh, I don't know...maybe three or four of these in my mouth.

This recipe was originally adapted from a "2 ingredient" recipe (just mashed bananas and chopped oats) but since then, I've made MANY variations, all equally delicious. 

They are husband and niece approved and really fun to make with kids! Plus, I can't help feeling a little tricky when I get my niece all excited for cookies and I know they are super healthy. hehe #guilty Emma loved helping me in the kitchen with these, almost as much fun as she had eating them up! How cute is she?? I know...I'm a little biased though. 

Have fun with this recipe and feel free to mix in other ingredients to make it your own!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups of oats

  • 2 well ripened bananas

  • 1tbs honey

  • 1/2 cup Carob chips

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin

  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

  2. Dump the oats in a food processor (or chop it up) until it breaks down into smaller pieces. 

  3. Add in all of the ingredients into a mixer & blend well.

  4. If the consistency is too runny (it should be wet, but thick) add in a few dashes of oats until the consistency thickens.

  5. Spoon out a tablespoon sized dollop on a greased cookie sheet and flatten out/form the cookies (they won't rise, they'll bake as is.)

  6. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes & enjoy! Store in the refrigerator.

Healthy Blackberry Crumble

Fresh picked blackberries means dessert in our house! Digging in to some blackberry crumble tonight. Here's my recipe:

Mix 2 cups of blackberries with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a dash of lemon juice (to taste-depends on how ripe they are). 

*For crumble, combine:*

  • 1c oats
  • 3tbs melted coconut oil 
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon 
  • 1tbs chia seeds
  • 1/4tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4c brown sugar

Top berries with crumble and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Follow me on IG for more fitness and nutrition tips! @globalfitfoundation

Quick Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

I decided to experiment with some blackberry chia jam and wanted to make a quicker version. Instead of cooking the berries, I puréed them in my blender. I like how it turned out!

*Blend in blender on high*

  • 1 cup of blackberries
  • 1-2tbs brown sugar (to taste-depends on how ripe they are)
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 3tbs chia seeds
  • 2tbs lemon juice

Put in a sealed container and refrigerate until set.